05 Mar 2024

CIH Scotland to declare a ‘Housing Emergency’ at national conference

Scotland’s housing professionals are coming together this week for the country’s biggest housing event as its professional body is ready to announce a housing emergency.

With three local authorities (Argyll and Bute, Edinburgh, and Glasgow) having declared a housing emergency, and up to a dozen on the brink of doing so, CIH Scotland will set out its call that Scotland has moved past a housing crisis and is in the midst of a housing emergency.

This call from CIH Scotland comes the week after the Scottish Government cut the affordable housing supply budget by £196 million and new homeless figures show over 30,000 open homelessness cases, a 10 per cent rise on figures 12 months ago.

CIH Scotland national director Callum Chomczuk said:

“Scotland is the midst of a housing emergency, and we need a political response.

“We want to see the UK budget on Wednesday provide increased spending, increased capital spending and clarity over future Financial Transaction allocations, which would mean more funding could be provided for affordable housing in the coming year.

“However, we also want to see the Scottish government prioritise the delivery and building of affordable housing. We want to see the affordable housing budget front loaded so social landlords can keep building, as it is always going to cheaper to build today than it is tomorrow.

“The Scottish budget last week fell far short of what the sector has been asking for, but it is never too late to invest in people, invest in communities and invest in social housing. We need an emergency plan and funding for delivering the social homes Scotland needs.”

Callum’s comments and the declaration of a housing emergency are expected at the opening session of the two-day Housing Festival which brings together around 800 housing professionals, speakers, and exhibitors at the SEC in Glasgow to discuss the latest issues, challenges, and solutions for the sector.

Day two of the conference begins with a breakfast general election hustings session giving the housing sector a chance to hear the priorities of each of the five main political parties and ask questions about how they seek to support the housing sector.

Later that morning, the housing minister is expected to discuss the Housing Bill and Housing to 2024, providing another opportunity for lively debate as housing professionals ask questions of the minister and provide feedback on the current status of housing in Scotland.